Day 310: William Takes the Lead

 The facts

Inside the saucepan were the smoked remains of a couple of sardines, three sausages, a handful of patent cat food, a dollop of custard, four pickled walnuts, the scraping of a tin of golden syrup, half a bottle of sour milk, a soupçon of Gentleman’s Relish, a dash of mouldy mint sauce, some cheese and bacon rinds and the tail end of a bottle of Henry’s father’s tonic – the whole blended and cooked by William. It formed a meal from which all four would have turned with loathing and disgust had it been offered them in their own homes, but they consumed it – sitting round the small clearing in the wood, eating in tum from the screw-top of an old honey jar that did service as a spoon – with undiluted pleasure.
“When I’m grown up,” said William, “I’m goin’ to start a rest’rant an’ I’m goin’ to cook mixtures same as I do here an’ people can eat ’em sittin’ on the ground same as we do an’ I bet everyone’ll want to come to it. It’s tables an’ chairs an’ knives an’ forks that spoil ordinary grown-up meals. I bet I make my fortune an’ when I’ve made it I’m going to…”
“Well, what’ll we do now?” said Ginger, knowing that William, once launched on the subject of his future careers, was not easy to check.

Verdict

Robert and Ethel have awarded a coveted (albeit ridiculously minor) child’s role in the Dramatic Society play to Hubert Lane, and William is livid: “Gosh, it’s worse than Cain an’ Abel!”

But unfortunately, in the ensuing fight with Hubert, Jumble is kidnapped/ dognapped, and held ransom by the Hubert Laneites.

“Your hair looks as if it had been dragged through a hedge backwards,” said Ethel.
“It has,” said William, casting his mind back over the events of the morning.

William tries to get his revenge by kidnapping Hubert’s aunt, but he ends up with the wrong old lady held hostage.

But it turns out that she was just the old lady he needed to meet…